Financing Fisheries in Africa: case studies from the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia

This brochure presents two case studies of institutions successfully providing financial services to small-scale fisheries in Africa. The two case studies were identified during a regional market demand and supply survey of financial service provision to small scale fishers, carried out by the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA) and the Global network for capacity building to increase access of small-scale fisheries to financial services (CAFI-SSF).

The case studies are of the Cooperative and Rural Development Bank Plc. (CRDB) in the United Republic of Tanzania and the National Savings Bank (NATSAVE) in Zambia. The case studies contain cost-effective measures to reach fishers and fish farmers in rural areas with financial services, through network improvements, use of agents, digital services and other innovative approaches. Given that financial literacy of many small-scale fishers and fish farmers is still low, there is a need to learn the basics of bookkeeping and to understand when they need credit and when not. The latter will also prevent them from becoming over-indebted. Some fishers’ organizations and fish farmers associations work effectively with the banks to improve financial literacy of their members. The challenges involved in providing microfinance and credit services to small-scale aquaculture producers and fishers are recognized by the governments, which have put policies and programmes in place to facilitate access to financial services. The increase in population and demand for fish and fisheries products in both countries requires investments in sustainable production, as well as the entire fish value chains. Financial service providers are essential in the Blue transformation of the fisheries sector towards sustainability and to ensure that high quality fish, full of essential proteins, minerals, fatty acids and vitamins, remains available for the population.

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